Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

Comments on "Our leaders show no sign of leadership as crisis engulfs the country. Time for People's Vote"

1. At 12:24 pm on 16th Nov Dean Stewart wrote:

Wish someone, anyone in Westminster had your integrity and the balls to stop this madness. Imposing economic, trade and travel sanctions on ourselves, voluntarily, because…erm…well anyway….er what Boris said…. Who is ready to lead the country and stop these stupid, petty, meaningless games? Its not a boarding school where the house chess team calls the other house rotters. This is the real world. Its our lives. And no one in Westminster has shown the maturity or integrity to put our lives before their own stupid self interest.

2. At 11:01 pm on 16th Nov Paul F wrote:

We can only trade on WTO rules if we are a member of the WTO.

Unfortunately that is not likely to happen for 5-10 years because other nations are concerned about how quotas for trade with the EU inc. the UK will be split between UK and rest of EU when we leave and that once the split is agreed they will have less flexibility to switch goods between UK and EU.

So we will NOT be able to trade even on WTO rules.

The genuine truth is that if we leave the EU we will not have the EU dictating to us but neither will we have trade for those little luxuries like food and medicines. This is not a scare tactic - but it is certainly scary - very scary - because it IS what will happen.

P.S. Whilst we are talking about sovereignty, I hear that the people of Devon are fed up with those mindless bureaucrats in Westminster dictating what happens, and have decided to leave the UK. Devon is hoping to be able to remain within the UK trading block (within the European trading block) and not have hard borders with surrounding counties, but that is not guaranteed. But Devon does import most of its goods from the rest of the UK, so the rest of the UK does have a vested interest in giving us a free trade agreement - but if not Devon can always trade with the rest of the UK (and the rest of Europe) on WTO rules. Unfortunately, unlike the EU, Devon did in the past join the UK’s single currency, so that is an additional hurdle to unwind.

P.P.S. Once Devon has left the UK and is a sovereign nation in its own right once again, it seems likely that East Devon will decide that it is fed up with being dictated to by those mindless bureaucrats in Devon’s County Hall, and will decide to leave Devon in order to regain its own sovereignty. East Devon is hoping to be able to remain within the Devon trading block (within the UK trading block (within the European trading block)) and avoid hard borders with surrounding districts, but this is not guaranteed. But since East Devon does import most of its goods from Devon and through Devon the rest of the UK, so Devon does have a vested interest in giving us a free trade agreement - but if not East Devon can always trade with the rest of Devon (and the rest of the UK (and the rest of Europe)) on WTO rules. Unfortunately unlike the EU, East Devon will likely be a part of the Devon common currency, so that will be an additional hurdle to unwind.

P.P.P.S. Once East Devon has left Devon and is a sovereign nation in its own right, the Ottery St. Mary parish is likely to decide to regain its sovereignty from the mindless East Devon bureaucrats in their new(ish) HQ in Honiton and decide to leave East Devon, hoping to avoid hard borders with the other parishes - but please make your application for your Ottery St. Mary passport early just in case there are border checks when you want to go shopping in the neighbouring town of Honiton.

3. At 09:30 am on 20th Nov Chris Wakefield wrote:

On Paul F’s Brexit subdivisions of sovereignty: the plan may fail because we’ve now almost completely run out of mindless bureaucrats to blame things on, and it would appear that we are simultaneously running out of the public services they used to provide in health, education, public safety and so on. It’s almost as if they were a good thing after all.

But let’s look at the brighter side of Brexit and applaud the new opportunities that are coming our way. What springs to mind almost immediately is the forthcoming revival (with the no-deal scenario) of a great west country industry and tradition - smuggling. Local boat owners may already be checking over their craft for seaworthyness against the day that a few trips over the briny can net desirables for profitable disbursement in local pubs. Customs and Excise will not be a problem - what is left of it will probably lay in the hands of G4S or some other witless private organisation. So to outwit them, smugglers need only pay a decoy to dress up as a pirate, and stand on a remote beach, spitting tobacco and looking anxiously out to sea, while they land contraband booze or whatnot on Exmouth seafront to wild public acclaim.

I used to think paying tax was a respectable social duty, to support the great public enterprises in heath, education, transport, and so on. But thesedays much of my contributions seem to be ending up in the pockets of private individuals seeking profit from the commonweal. That’s not greatly to my liking, especially as in many cases said individuals seem often to have more than enough income already. So smuggling a few cases of spirits or American beefsteaks seems instantly less reprehensible. It also strikes a blow for free trade - which I know is close to any Tory heart - and as Adam Smith tells us (in his influential best-seller ‘The Wealth of Nations’) ...‘The Smuggler… would have been in every respect an excellent citizen had not the laws of his country made that a crime which nature never meant to be so’. I’m still keen that Amazon and Google cough up though, but they will obviously be concerned that governments are not sliding taxpayers contributions by diverse routes into competitors’ coffers, so their preference for a low-tax, small-government environment is understandable, if distasteful.

It is some comfort that a 2nd Brexit vote is being talked about, but I worry that if it comes about, the dark side will once again stoke up the hopes of those suffering the awfulness of austerity, and that the same constituency will be the target for the next batch of mendacious enticements to support the current elite in power. The final insult will be clear enough when the result is found to be even worse than what we already had. Mrs May’s claim to the moral high ground of ‘respecting the referendum result’, and the endless citing of ‘The British People’ as the beating heart of her political commitment, is also a convenient insurance policy for the survival of the Conservative Party if things go pear shaped post-Brexit: ‘It’s not our fault - it’s you that voted for it’. It’s not explicit just yet, but a concept as indeterminate as ‘The British People’ is just the very place to hang any policy failures with a potentially lethal backlash.

Must away now to check if our vicar likes Cognac…